Secretly, trees in a protected natural area in Sonora begin to be chopped for new train tracks

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The El Aribabi Ranch, located in Ímuris, Sonora, recognized as a Protected Natural Area, is in danger from a federal government project that began with the felling of trees to install railroads in the area, a plan that, according to residents and specialists, It will put the environment, water distribution and the migration of various animal species at risk.

Rancho El Aribabi was visited by Proyecto Puente last July to address its importance as a unique place in the nature of Sonora, as it houses a wide biological diversity, with temperatures below 30°C in summer and next to one of the cleanest rivers in the entity.

It is located in the municipality of Ímuris, on federal highway 2 that leads to Cananea, between the Azul and El Pinito mountains, where they cross 14 kilometers of the Cocóspera River, which has the cleanest water throughout the year in the state.

At least 200 species of birds, almost 40 reptiles and 30 species of fauna protected by the Official Mexican Standard (NOM) 059 of Semarnat have been observed there.

It is also a refuge for the species and is the way they have to cross from one mountain range to another, since the high temperatures drop there. Along the river you can see a great show of green lights at nightfall, a sanctuary of fireflies, tourist attraction during the summer.

“Having a project that impacts this channel affects all the life that reproduces here and the populations that live around it, like Ímuris,” said Germán Robles, co-owner of the ranch.

Residents of the region and even the town’s municipal president himself, Jesús Leonardo García Acedo, have shown their opposition to the development of the project for months. According to the residents, the community has not been consulted and it does not comply with environmental protection standards.

The development of a new railway line in the area will not only divide Rancho El Aribabi, but will directly affect the migration of animals.

A report by The Associated Press shows that authorities, both state and federal, have been opaque in the development of the project, redirecting requests for information between their agencies, without clearly and punctually reporting the details and scope the of infrastructure plan.

The residents’ opposition to the project began in 2023, when citizens of Ímuris protested and argued that it would put the community at risk.

Last February, the mayor of Imur, Jesús Leonardo García, shared with Proyecto Puente his concern about the federal project, saying that it meant “halving” the population, with direct effects on 130 families, in addition to the region flora and fauna.

“Adolfo Salazar, from the governor’s office, was with me and showed me that project which does not benefit the municipality, it harms us,” he indicated.

Questioned by the press about the project, the governor of Sonora, Alfonso Durazo, stated that the inhabitants of Ímuris were being “deceived” on the issue and accused a map that indicated the new railway tracks as false.

“We are going to have a meeting with them, yesterday we had a meeting with the municipal president, remember that a false line was circulated there, there is no reason for concern, it would not make sense to remove the railroad tracks from Nogales and cross them through Ímuris, that is not It’s going to happen,” he assured.

Given all of the above, the works are already being carried out in the place and personnel from the Mexican Army have attended, according to information from the inhabitants.

In an interview, the state president said this Monday that they have worked with municipal authorities and that the environmental impact corresponds to Semarnat and that the process is advanced.

While Omar Del Valle Colosio, head of the Secretariat of Infrastructure and Urban Development of the government of Sonora, said that it is a work carried out by the Secretariat of National Defense with federal resources.

Source: Animal Politicohttps://animalpolitico.com/estados/rancho-el-aribabi-imuris-sonora-vias-tren